2019 American Music Awards

Ringo Starr Becomes Second Member of The Beatles to Be Knighted

John Stillwell/Pool Photo via AP
Ringo Starr photographed after being knighted at Buckingham Palace in London on March 20, 2018. 

That's Sir Richard, to you.

The Beatles' Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, is now Sir Ringo. The drummer was knighted in a ceremony in the U.K.

A picture of the ceremony was posted by Ringo's representatives on social media Tuesday (March 20) with the words “Another busy day for Sir Ringo. Peace and love, peace and love.” #reports #ringostarr #ilovemyfriends #ilovewhatido peaceandlove [✌]  #gratefulheart [--]  — in London, United Kingdom.” Ringo was honored for “services to music.”

Starr told the BBC he was honored to get the title: "It means a lot actually. It means recognition for the things we've done. I was really pleased to accept this." He also said he was a little nervous about getting the award by himself as opposed to when the Beatles as a group received MBEs in 1965, explaining, "I was a bit shaky today on my own."

Starr was reminded that John Lennon reportedly said the group was so nervous about the award they went into the bathroom for a cigarette. "Who said that? I'm not keeping that rumour going," he laughed. He also said he knew what he'd be doing with the medal: “I'll be wearing it at breakfast.”

An announcement of Ringo's knighthood was made at the end of December and brought congratulations from many, including his fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono. McCartney issued a statement saying, “Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer, best pal! X Paul.” Ono tweeted, “Dear Sir Ringo, I am very happy that you have received this honour from the Queen. It’s about time! Huge congratulations! I am delighted for you and your family. It is an honour for everyone in The Beatles family and I love you very much.”

Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn told Billboard in December, “I'm delighted for Ringo that he’s received this honor. More than half a century on, what The Beatles did continues to be magnificent, so it feels right that Ringo has joined Paul in having this significant award in his homeland. (Next, I’m hoping Paul will be elevated to the peerage, to become Lord Allerton.) If they’re watching on, Elsie and Harry would be tickled beyond belief to know that their boy -- who was raised in such humble circumstances, and twice defied death in his childhood -- is now Sir Richard Starkey. That’s an extraordinary accomplishment and this is great news. Congratulations, Sir Ringo.”

The December announcement of Ringo's honor also included the news that the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb would also be knighted.


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